There are those who arise in the morning, and by "arise" I mean they get out of bed looking serene, refreshed and beautiful. There might as well be Disney forest-theme music playing in the background and little birdies helping them on with their gauzy robes.
Then there are those who ooze up in the morning like angry swamp creatures ready to destroy whoever has disturbed the peace of their lair. Watch out. It's not pretty.
The difference between morning and evening people is actually genetic, and hormones govern how we feel when we wake up. Those pesky hormones just get into everything, don't they?
In 2003, a study conducted by researchers at the University of Surrey found a link between people's preference for mornings and a gene called Period 3.
Those with a longer version of the gene displayed a marked preference for mornings over evenings.
So at least those of us with the shorter gene now have a legitimate excuse. But sometimes I think it would be nice to be one of those people who get up with the songbirds. Morning people enjoy a certain respectability that night owls don't get. There's certainly something tragic about always missing the tranquil, moist hours of the dawn.
If you hate to get up, first rule out medical issues like chronic fatigue syndrome.
Depression can also play a part in your lack of desire to get out of bed.
What the experts say
"To get motivated in the morning, choose reds, oranges and yellows. A rustic orange that has a lot of black will not have the same effect. You want energy that's clean. Orange is emotionally stimulating, yellow is mentally stimulating, and red physically stimulating. I kick-start my day by taking a red colour bath . I envision the red coming up into my root chakra area, stimulating the accomplishment of my goals. I also put a drop of a red aromatherapy oil like a ylang-ylang , sandalwood or cinnamon on my root chakra or in my bathwater or simply smell it. I even have a red towel to dry myself with red energy. Then I drink a glass of red juice like cranberry , tomato or V8 . I envision it filling my body with vibrant fire. I have a lot of red underwear , socks , tops and outfits . I drink water out of a beautiful red glass ."
SUSANNE MURPHY , colour therapist, Vancouver
"The 24 hours of the day are divided into three-hour [segments] known as the watches of the day. In yoga, these three-hour periods are aligned with your consciousness. The last watch of the night (3 to 6 am) is connected to the heart chakra, where the subconscious is most open. People have their most vivid dreams from 3 to 6 in the morning. If you meditate during this time instead of dreaming , the effects are remarkable. You will be very clear and able to work out the problems of your life meditatively. Some people go to bed afterwards. You have to rearrange your sleep around it. I am not a morning person. I do not enjoy getting up early in the morning. I nap after meditation. You get the most energy when you rise before the sun."
YOGI AKAL , director, International Centre for Yogic Arts and Sciences, Toronto
"There are several different hypnotherapy approaches. In suggestive therapy you listen to a tape for 30 days so the subconscious mind has an image of being a morning person. Then there's transpersonal hypnotherapy , which is concerned with emotional blocks from a current or past life, like fears or phobias - for example, if your parents had hangovers in the morning. Maybe in a past life you were a prison guard. We would look at negative cellular patterns in the body. Perhaps you had chronic fatigue and you've healed, but the cellular memory hasn't adjusted. The last approach would be the spiritual, to see if there are breaks in the energy field upon returning from sleep. After astral projection, you may feel off because you haven't fully re-inhabited your body.'
HELEN ZADOR , transpersonal hypnotherapist, Toronto
"We know that Period 1, 2 and 3 genes are involved in circadian rhythms, but we don't know the exact differences between them. Each person's individual genetic makeup will dictate preferences for morning versus evening alertness. As to whether you can change these habits, I believe we can always train ourselves to do almost anything. However, this doesn't mean you will enjoy the change. Your own genetics will always prevail."
DENISE BELSHAM , neuroendocrinologist, Toronto
"When it comes to larks and owls, it's probably scientifically impossible to change a person into another type, especially with the extreme types. There are different psychological profiles, and recent evidence supports a difference in genetic makeup. What can you do if you're forced to be one or the other? The challenge for the owl is to turn off the lights in time. You may go to bed at 10 and lie there until 11 but eventually you will train yourself to get to sleep at a reasonable hour. You should try to limit how much drift you allow on a weekend . People tend to shift to later bedtimes, then try to shift back on Monday. It's like flying back from Vancouver."
JAMIE MacFARLANE , lab director, Centre for Sleep and Chronobiology, Toronto